St. Irenaeus Ministries
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St. Irenaeus Ministries - a center of orthodox Catholic mission and renewal in Rochester, NY

Paul tells Philemon that he could be bold enough to command him to do what is required, he chooses to appeal out of love. Paul appeals to Philemon to take Onesimus back as he is useful to Philemon and to Paul, with whom he has formed a special bond.

Paul also says that he will be arriving to visit Philemon shortly. His unstated intention in doing this may be to pressure Philemon to do what he is calling him to do before his visit.

Direct download: Pastorals25.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

The Epistle to Philemon is not strictly speaking a pastoral epistle, as it does not concern the pastoral care of a church. It is, however, a very personal letter written to Philemon, who was a leader in Colossae of some means and influence. Philemon had a slave by the name of Onesimus, who ran away to a major city, most likely Ephesus, where he became a Christian and met Paul.

Paul knows that Onesimus must return to Philemon, and so writes a letter to Philemon in order to plead for Onesimus' favorable return. We know that a later bishop in the area was named Onesimus, so Paul's letter appears to have been successful, and perhaps Onesimus included this letter in the canon of scripture to show a more personal aspect of Paul. Paul appeals to Philemon by reminding him of his reputation for love, and thus sets the stage for his plea to Philemon.

Direct download: Pastorals24.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Those who would pastor must remind the faithful to obey legitimate authority and engage in God's work. Pastors must also not engage in controversies. A pastor must not drive those who hold erroneous beliefs from the faith, but must encourage all to come to the true faith from wherever they are.

Direct download: Pastorals23.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

All Apostolic Ministry is supposed to spark the faith, inform the faith with a knowledge of the truth and encourage godly living. Paul has no difficulty with encouraging godly living in this letter, and Paul encourages Titus and all of us to do this. We must make a break with the worldly things and live soberly.

Paul also makes one of the strongest statements that Jesus is God in Titus 2:13.

Direct download: Pastorals22.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST